Let’s see, who else are we loving so far in 2012? Ah, here’s one.
Ryan Shaw: Real Love – I’ve been a fan of Shaw’s since … well, since I first heard him maybe three years ago. Gods, what a voice. I have argued that had he come along in the mid-1960s we’d now be remembering him favorably alongside the likes of Otis, Jackie, Wilson and Sam. That is not hype – the man is just that good. His previous release had the feel of a collection of singles, but Real Love plays like an actual album. Here he is live, riffing on the man, Sam Cooke, whom he clearly reveres as much as I do.
Every 10 minutes, it seems, somebody dredges up from the miasma of past moribund media strategies the idea that will save journalism. But such ideas are too often about saving the business of journalism — and that’s a much different conundrum to consider than what truly ails the fractured relationship between journalism and democracy.
As for saving journalism? There’s government funding and/or “non-market” money or government dictation of funding mechanisms. How about computer nerds or “hacker journalists,” “personalized news,” the Federal Trade Commission’s “recommendations” for the reinvention of journalism, or a mashup of government subsidy, community ownership of local news outlets, and non-traditional or non-profit support for journalism outlets? Just Google “save journalism.” All the ideas are there, from the hackneyed to the improbable to the Are you effing kidding me?
My high school friend Bob and I used to go fishing every summer in the river that runs through our town. We had no jobs and no pocket money, but fishing was free.
On the way home one August day on the path beside the river, we used Bob’s German boot knife to carve immortality into an ash tree. I sliced my first name in big, blocky letters, cutting completely through the bark to the living core of the tree. On the back of the tree, Bob cut his initials, a plus sign, and the initials of a girl he was sweet on. He and the girl graduated from high school a year earlier than I did. I don’t know what happened to either one of them. I’m sure Bob’s behind-the-tree wish never came true. Continue reading →